Our Fight With Stress
What I've learned
We all face it. We go to battle with it everyday. It can feel like a never ending war.
Like you, I’ve had my battles with stress. The headaches, sleepless nights, feeling physically and mentally drained before the day even started. There were the feelings of not wanting to eat, the feeling of eating and eating to the point where you’re wondering where all the food was going.
At the height of its power, stress can control and consume your life. Work, money and family all can spur stress. The origins of stress can vary for everyone.
Stress never is truly defeated. You may conquer what was causing your stress today, but the hard truth is something else is going to pop up that will cause stress and wage war again.
I know this. You know this. We face the ongoing war everyday in one form or another.
Your approach to handling stress will determine if you control the stress, or if it controls you.
It hurts to hear people succumb to the powers that stress bears down. They give up on their family, career and health. It can wreak havoc on our bodies and cause burnout. Sadly, people I know have lost the battle with stress. It has become so serious for some that it has even taken their lives.
If you have all the money in the world, but high levels of stress ultimately kills you early, what good is all the money in the world? I wrote about the constant pursuit of more in a prior post called, The Ever-Moving Goalpost.
Over the years I’ve worked to find ways to manage stress. I’ve asked others for help. What works for them and what doesn’t. Others that really struggled with it, I also asked them for their stories. To truly understand something you need to try and see it from both sides. How people win against it and also don’t.
Here is what I’ve learned.
Physical Activity. Get up and move! Go for a walk. Workout in the form of weight training, running, hiking, biking, swimming etc. Try to make it a daily occurrence. Few things offer as many benefits as physical activity and working out in some form.
“Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.” George Sheehan
Reading or Writing. Enrich and grow your mind through reading and writing. Writing or journaling helps you release your thoughts. Reading allows your mind to wander and get lost in a book.
Eat and Sleep. Take care of yourself. Get adequate sleep. Focus on your eating and your diet. We all hear that healthy eating and proper sleep creates a healthier lifestyle. It took me years to fully understand this, but it’s true. I wish I had focused on it sooner.
Friends and Family. Spend time doing things with those closest to you. Talk, play, do activities and things with the people you enjoy being around.
Religion/Spirituality. Working on your faith or using spiritual teachings to help learn about and manage stress.
Hobbies. Find your happy place. Do what you enjoy. Take time for yourself. It could be gardening, hunting, fishing, art or crafts.
Breathe. Practice meditation and yoga to help slow your mind and focus on your breathing and stretching. These were two of the most overlooked things that I had never considered as a way to help.
Seek help. Find a coach or health professional to talk with. Don’t allow it to get out of hand. Earlier I spoke about people I know who let it get out of hand. It’s sad and it was preventable. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
I hope these tips help you. Find what works for you. If someone you know can benefit from this, please pass it on. We’re all in the battle together. We should all seek to help one another. Be a shinning light for someone else.
“A good way to overcome stress is to help others out of theirs.” Dada J. P. Vaswani
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